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Nation's Ports Under Seige

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National transportation officials in Washington don’t like an initiative on San Diego’s ballot: the proposal to build a deck over the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Developers say it’s feasible to

Nation's Ports Under Seige

(Photo: Sean Connaughton, head of the U.S Maritime Administration,  speaking at the Port District about the initiative to develop a deck over the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Alison St John )

National transportation officials in Washington don’t like an initiative on San Diego’s ballot:  the proposal to build a deck over the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. Developers say it’s feasible to build a Chargers stadium on top of the deck, without threatening cargo operations below. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

 It’s an attractive concept… build a 40 foot high deck over the docks, and let hotels and a stadium go up by the bay, while windmill parts and bananas are unloaded on the docks below.

But Sean Connaughton, head of the U.S Maritime Administration, visited San Diego and says cargo operations are not compatible with commercial developments above. He says San Diego’s initiative is part of a worrying trend.

Connaughton: This initiative has become the poster child for a trend we’re seeing nationally, developers looking at industrial port facilities for residential offices and recreational uses.. once that land is lost, it will never be reused for industrial purposes

Connaughton says commercial developers are also encroaching on ports in Oakland, Seattle, New York and South Carolina. He says international trade will grow from 20 percent of gross national product now, to 40 or 50 percent by 2030, and most of that comes in through ports, which are now under siege.

San Diego's Port District opposes the measure, which is sponsored by San Diego Community Solutions LLC, a partnerhsip of developers.

Alison St John, KPBS News. 

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